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  • Last post here.

    Written May 19, 2012 3:30pm

    Hi Everyone,

    I have decided to venture out and write my own blog without CaringBridge anymore. I need to be a little more creative. I like to post a lot of pictures and want to try some videos too. It will be easier for me to do that on my new blog site. I know. Everyone hates change and I am sorry. Lauren's new blog will be

    www.loveandhopeforlauren.blogspot.com

    I hope you will continue to read about Lauren's journey with cancer. Please add this site to your Favorite's List. I will update tomorrow. Lauren did great with the Therasphere procedure. We hope it is working. Take care and love to all.

    -Pam

  • Excited and nervous.

    Written May 14, 2012 9:21am

    Hi Everyone,

    I am sorry but I am up to my old tricks again. I forgot to write down everything again. I think I am preoccupied with a lot of things. I will tell you that Lauren seems to be doing ok. She is worried because she had to miss a chemo in order to get ready for her Therasphere procedure on Wed. She will miss another one after as well. I have heard chemo keeps working for quite some time after the treatment and in order to have the radiation treatment, it had to be this way. Thank you for your continued thoughts, prayers, and cards. They mean so much to Lauren. If anyone wishes to send Lauren a card, our address is:

    3648 Mulberry St. NW

    Uniontown, Ohio 44685

    Thank you. I'm sure she will need some cheering up after this procedure. Some people handle it well and others get really sick. Main things that can happen are: stomach pain, exhaustion, lack of appetite, nausea and vomiting, fever. Doesn't sound like much fun, but if it kills her tumors it is so worth it. She is so tough. She will fight very hard.

    It seems like a lot of our cancer friends are really sick right now. Lauren and I are both so worried about all these ladies. If you could, please pray for Kim, Sharon, and Liza. Thanks.

    Lauren has been working hard at Giovanni's new house. They are getting a lot done little by little. On the days Lauren doesn't feel real well, she will go over and lay on the couch while Giovanni paints.

    Last weekend, the one before Mother's Day, Lauren and Gio went to Gio's cousin's First Communion party. Lauren was sitting all day. They went to Gio's after the party. She called me and was all worried because her ankles were really swollen. It alarmed me at first because  a lot of people with Lauren's cancer get swelling in the legs, ankles, and their belly. Usually when this happens, they have to have a procedure where they drain the fluid off their stomachs, and it seems like they have to do it all the time and get really sick. She said her legs or stomach were not swollen. I said maybe her ankles were swollen from sitting all day and from eating party food. I told her to lay down and put her feet up. I also told her to drink a lot of water. It seemed to help and she hasn't had it since. So, hopefully I was right. We will ask Dr. Z about it next time we see him.

    Lauren has been shopping a little here and there. We went to Wal Mart two days last week. We found some really cute maxi dresses there and bought a few for summer. They are nice to wear out to dinner with a light cardigan. Mark took Lauren shopping on his day off. They both love to just walk around and look at things. I hate to shop, so that is my nightmare. All my years working in retail really soured me on shopping.

    Lauren and Gio had a fun time Friday night. Gio's Granpa invited them to dinner at Tangier, a very nice restaurant in Akron. Gio's Dad went with them too. They have a cabaret club there, and after dinner they went to see a show starring The Scintas. It is a variety show that has been put on there for years by this group. They sing, tell jokes, and do impersonations. They also do shows in Vegas. Lauren and Gio had a ball and really enjoyed the show. She said their dinner was so good. That was so nice of Gio's Grandpa to do this for them. He is such a generous man.

    We are going to be doing Relay For Life on June 15th. We are very excited about this. So far, Mark, myself, Lauren, Gio, Stephanie, Ryan, and my Mom and Dad are on the team. We are very sad that Kristen and Bruce cannot participate. They are both on call that weekend.  We have had a nice donation from Mark's boss, Bruce. We invite anyone who would like to donate or join our team. If you go to Relay For Life, you can donate or join by typing in our team's name which is Wozer's Warriors. Wo or Wozer is Lauren's nickname. Please, if you donate, make sure you donate in our team's name, not just a general donation. We need all the help we can get ! All the money goes to cancer research. We think it will be a fun time and we know it will mean a lot to Lauren.

    Giovanni joined a summer bowling league with some friends and they bowl on Thurs. nights. Lauren wishes so bad she could be on the team, but every other week she is gone for chemo and it wouldn't be fair to the team. So she has to settle with going to watch. I thinks she still has fun because she gets to see her friends.

    Mother's Day was very nice. Kristen and Bruce had planned to come for the weekend. Kristen then found out she had to attend some training thing 7-4 on Sat. So that shot that idea. Mark and Lauren got up early and made breakfast. Bacon, eggs, hash browns, toast, blueberry pancakes, and cinnamon rolls. Wow!! It was delicious. Ryan got up about the time it was all done. I got a nice card and Amazon gift card. I was informed that this went with my birthday present which I will get on my birthday on Tuesday. Hmmmm. Wonder what it could be? Ryan had to work and Gio was with his Mom. Mark, Lauren and I went to a barbecue place for dinner. Mapquest said it was 40 miles away, but it seemed more like 400. We took Rt.44 the whole way and let me tell you it was nothing but farm country and little towns. If you know my husband, he drives like a freakin' Grandpa. Really slow. But ever since we got our Explorer, he likes the get up and go it has, and drives a little faster. The speed limits in these towns changed with the blink of an eye and you had no idea what it was. 55 to 25 45 to 35. Geez. Well, when we were going through Mantua, Mark was going about 45. He says less than that. All the sudden, we see a cop and he points at us and turns on his lights. Great, a speeding ticket for Mr. Pokey. I couldn't believe it. If anyone should get a ticket, it is me or Wo. We both drive kind of fast, but only sometimes and never in residential areas. So we get pulled over and the policeman was so nice. An older gentleman. He said he clocked Mark at 45 in a 25. Mark was super polite and didn't argue and said he was sorry. The officer went back to his car with Mark's license. He came back and asked Mark if he had kids. He asked who Lauren and I were. He said that being it was Mother's Day and all, he was not going to issue Mark a citation. I could not believe it! He just warned him to slow down. He said had he given him a ticket, it would've been bad because 20 miles over the speed limit is reckless something or other. We would have probably had a huge amount to pay. Thank you so much for nice people !! So then if Mark didn't drive pokey enough before, now he will really be slow! Haha. We got to Blazin' Bills and it was packed. It was in Troy, Ohio wherever that is. We had to wait for about an hour. We finally got seated and ordered an onion loaf for an appetizer. What came out was the hugest thing we have ever seen. A mountain of onion rings. I think we ate about 1/3 of it. We all ordered ribs for dinner. It took an hour to get our food. Good lord. The ribs, when they finally came were excellent. Mark finished his, but hardly touched any of his side dishes. Lauren and I only ate 1/2 of our dinners and brought the rest home. Guess what Mark is having tonight for dinner. The waitress was really nice and brought us all little red vevet cakes for dessert. I guess I was only supposed to get one because of Mother's Day, but since we had to wait so long, she gave all of us one.We thought we would be home by 7 or 8, but we didn't get home until after 10. What a long ordeal. Great food, fun company, and never a dull moment.

     Mark, Lauren, and I will be leaving for Michigan tomorrow afternoon. Ryan will be dogsitting. We will be going out to dinner with Bruce and Sis for my birthday. We will have to be at the hospital on Wed. before 11 and Lauren will have her procedure at 12. We are going to stay overnight on Wed. and will come back home sometime Thurs. i will let you know how everything goes. Take care, please pray for Lauren, and God bless you all. Until next time...

    Love, -Pam

  • We don't sweat the small stuff anymore.

    Written May 7, 2012 8:34pm

    Hi Everyone,

    I had this halfway written, got a phone call, and something happened and I had to restart my computer and lost it all. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. So here goes again, but I might shorten it.

    Last Monday we went to breakfast at The Frontier with our girlfriends. Lauren and I were there as well as Debbie B. and her daughter, Jill, Dawn and her grandson's girlfriend, April, Debbie J and Ruth. We had a nice time and great food. Everyone had things to do, so we weren't there that long. Lauren had a dentist appt. in the afternoon. She finally got her crown. We were there for a few hours. Her tooth looks great. It looks exactly like all of her other teeth. Great job, Dr. B!! Our next door neighbor, Dee Dee came over and brought a big pot of chicken and dumpling soup she had made. We had a nice visit with her. The soup was great. Then Lauren got a phone call from the HR manager at Cintas, where she used to work. She has been on a leave since Sept. of last year. She told Lauren that she had been officially terminated, but she would have a job anytime she was well enough to come back. I was just worried about the health insurance. We finally got it straightened out and I will tell you about it later.

    Mark was at a training seminar for work on Tuesday and Wednesday in Erie PA, so Lauren and I could do whatever. Which was not much. Lauren did go shopping for awhile with Jill. She came home with a few things.Lauren was supposed to go to bowling with Gio, but decided not to because she didn't feel very good. She had a lot of back pain. She wanted me to take her to Marc's because she felt like cooking. So I did. She bought a pizza mix and brownie mix. She made homemade pizza and brownies with a chocolate chip crust. Everything was really good, especially since I didn't have to cook.

    Mark was off on Thursday so we went to breakfast at The Frontier again. We went and looked around at the new Hartville Hardware. It is so huge. There was even a model home inside which was gorgeous. We took the cover off our pool and filled it a little. So happy it is almost summer. Lauren went to Gio's and made him dinner.

    Lauren and I were on the phone for a long time on Friday about insurance and stuff. Really frustrating. They couldn't do anything just yet because the HR from Cintas didn't declare a termination date so we are left in limbo. I also called Uof M to see if the practice test was ok and Lauren can have the Therasphere procedure. Dr. Novelli's nurse practitioner finally called us back after 5:00 and said the doctor had already left for the weekend. She said she would call us back on Monday to let us know what the doctor said, but she thinks if Lauren failed the practice test , she would have already heard about it. She said the procedure is still scheduled, so she is pretty sure it is a go.

    Lauren and Gio went to his cousin's First Communion party on Saturday morning. They were there most of the day and then went shopping. Saturday was Cinco de Mayo, so us four went to El  Rincon for dinner. I could eat there everyday, but Mark doesn't like to go there that often. I don't think we had been there for a few months and I always crave their food. Lauren hasn't really wanted their food much either. But finally, Gio and I got our way and got to go there. It was so good. Lauren and Gio went to his house to get some work done. Lauren ended up sleeping on the couch while Gio worked.

    We had a big breakfast on Sunday. Lauren and Gio went with his Mom and bought a push mower. His Grandpa already bought him a nice riding mower. Mark went over and he and Gio did a lot of yard work. They cut down bushes, cleaned out flower beds, and just got the yard looking good. Lauren and I went to my friend, Debbie's daughter, Jill's college graduation party. It was outside and such a nice day. We were there for about an hour and went to Gio's. We were going to paint. I ordered pizza and salad for dinner and Lauren went with me to pick it up. After dinner, Mark wanted to go home because he had worked all day. So, I never did paint. Lauren and Gio painted until late.

    Lauren called about her insurance again on Monday. They finally had submitted her termination date so they are getting everything handled and she will be on COBRA. Her insurance went up and is like three times as expensive now. But it is good insurance, so we will have to deal with it. She can have this for 18mos. and then can get an extension for 11 more months at an even higher rate if she gets a letter from her disability. By then, she can also get on medicare. So we will worry about that later. The guy she spoke with said he will call her back with the details once he gets her enrolled. We decided to go to Grinders for lunch. Lauren's phone rang when we were there and it was the insurance guy. She went outside to take the call. Everything is handled and she has insurance. Sigh. We had a nice lunch and then went shopping at Marc's. We bought some flowers for outside too. I made broccoli cheese soup for dinner and made Mark a hobo dinner with ham, potatoes, green beans and cheese.Lauren took some soup with them when Gio came to pick her up. They went to paint.

    So all of this stuff that happened this week with the insurance and the Theraspheres would have had me such a nervous wreck before Lauren had cancer. Now, I freak a little, but then don't worry too much about stuff. Nothing really matters anymore except for Lauren to get better. That is it. Life goes on with everything else and things usually work out. But nothing really matters, except that Lauren gets better. Please pray for her next week when she has her procedure. This really has the potential to help her a lot. We will be participating in Relay For Life in June. If you would like to join our team or make a donation, I will post details next time. Thanks for helping. Please pray for all of our CC friends. Some are not doing very well and really need prayers. Thank you all and god bless you.

    Love, -Pam

     

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pamkunklier@yahoo.com

Healthcare Facility

University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers
1500 East Medical Center Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States